My REAL Tips for Fast Weeknight Meals
Don't tell me to freeze stuff in advance. I already forgot.
I read a post recently on a popular food magazine website that listed tips and tricks to speed-up weekend cooking. It included some classics like make stuff in advance and freeze it!
But like… we all know that. If I had meals frozen in my freezer, I wouldn’t be freaking out at 5pm on a Tuesday wondering what to cook.
Likewise, if I had put stuff in my slow cooker to cook at 8am and be ready - also not freaking out about dinner.
So let’s get real.
I’m a busy parent and even though I’m constantly cooking, it’s frequently the case that I look up at the clock and realize I’m pretty screwed for dinner plans.
So here are some true down-and-dirty tips to get it done.
Put pasta in cold water.
Italians look away! I know the traditional method for cooking pasta is to bring a massive pot of water to boil, salt it, and then toss in your noodles, but I don’t always have time for that.
America’s Test Kitchen (possibly blocked) actually ran through this test a few years ago and found that starting pasta in cold water doesn’t really affect the texture much and it hacks serious minutes off the cooking time.
Then you can make something like this spaghetti with chili crisp breadcrumbs in like 15 minutes.
Use your broiler
People often forget that in most ovens you have a massive, very hot cooking source - the broiler. Some people are scared of it, and with reason, as it can very quickly scorch and burn stuff if you aren’t careful.
But, used correctly, you can skip the oven preheating and even skip pans and just use a broiler for a very quick meal.
My favorite thing to broil is thin cuts of lean meat like pork chops or skirt steak.
I find breakfast substantially faster to prepare than dinner. Whip up some pancakes (or just use a mix) and then fry up some eggs with fruit and dinner is ready.
These oatmeal blender pancakes are SO fast to mix up and fry up quickly. Assuming you have a reasonably stocked pantry, you probably have what you need to make them!
That with some bacon and/or eggs and some fruit and dinner is done!
Have a tip?
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